Collagen biosynthesis occurs in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, and many molecular chaperones and folding enzymes are involved in this process. The folding mechanism of type I procollagen has been well characterized, and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) has been suggested as a key player in the formation of the correct disulfide bonds in the noncollagenous carboxyl-terminal and amino-terminal propeptides. Prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 (P3H1) forms a hetero-trimeric complex with cartilage-associated protein and cyclophilin B (CypB). This complex is a multifunctional complex acting as a prolyl 3-hydroxylase, a peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase, and a molecular chaperone. Two major domains are predicted from the primary sequence of P3H1: an amino-terminal domain and a carboxyl-terminal domain corresponding to the 2-oxoglutarate- and iron-dependent dioxygenase domains similar to the α-subunit of prolyl 4-hydroxylase and lysyl hydroxylases. The amino-terminal domain contains four CXXXC sequence repeats. The primary sequence of cartilage-associated protein is homologous to the amino-terminal domain of P3H1 and also contains four CXXXC sequence repeats. However, the function of the CXXXC sequence repeats is not known. Several publications have reported that short peptides containing a CXC or a CXXC sequence show oxido-reductase activity similar to PDI in vitro. We hypothesize that CXXXC motifs have oxido-reductase activity similar to the CXXC motif in PDI. We have tested the enzyme activities on model substrates in vitro using a GCRALCG peptide and the P3H1 complex. Our results suggest that this complex could function as a disulfide isomerase in the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
Keywords: Collagen; Collagen Biosynthesis; Disulfide; Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER); Oxidation-Reduction; Prolyl 3-Hydroxylase; Protein Isomerase.